US journalist released from Syria 'overwhelmed with emotion'

A US journalist released earlier this week after almost two years of imprisonment in Syria said he was "overwhelmed with emotion" because of the attention he has received upon returning home.

Peter Theo Curtis, 45, was captured in 2012 by Nusra Front and was only released on Sunday.

He said: "I suddenly remember how good the American people are, and what kindness they have in their hearts."

Meanwhile, Douglas McAuthur McCain, 33, who is suspected of fighting with Islamic State militants operating in Iraq and Syria, has been killed in the Middle East, a US security official has said.

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Iraqi forces move to retake northern towns from IS

A fighter fires as Iraqi government forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters try to retake towns in northern Iraq. Credit: RTV

Iraqi government forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have moved in a bid to recapture two towns in the north from Islamic State militants, security sources told Reuters.

Peshmerga forces, backed by US air strikes, retook one district near Jalawla. Credit: RTV

Peshmerga forces, backed by US air strikes, retook one district near the eastern entrance to Jalawla, 70 miles (115 km) northeast of Baghdad, they said.

Tanks and armoured vehicles fired towards targets on the outskirts of Jalawla Credit: RTV

Tanks and armoured vehicles fired towards targets on the outskirts of Jalawla after moving in a convoy towards the town overnight, while Iraqi troops advance towards the nearby town of Saadiya.

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